News, tips, advice, support for Windows, Office, PCs & more. Tech help. No bull. We're community supported by donations from our Plus Members, and proud of it
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon
  • Patch Lady Posts – Windows update temp files

    Posted on February 28th, 2018 at 21:04 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’m often called to remote into computers for friends, family and especially co-workers to take a look at what ails them. Tonight I had an interesting case on a Windows 7 computer that is normally well behaved – so well behaved that normally I don’t look at it.  The initial symptom of the machine was that it lost the remote desktop/Rdgateway credentials that the person used to remote into their office, so I was tasked to help set them back up. While there I took a look at the computer to make sure it was behaving itself.

    Well.

    It wasn’t behaving itself at all.

    Opening up merely Windows explorer showcased what the problem was: The entire C drive was full.  Entirely and utterly full. And full hard drives start doing very strange things. Like losing rdp entries.

    So first I needed to gain enough hard drive space to get some tools on the system to see where in the world – and what in the world – was taking up so much space.  To gain space I went into services, disabled Windows update, then went to the c:\windows folder and deleted the contents of the software distribution folder.  This gained about a gig of space, enough to then give me room to install TreeSizeFree (any other tool that you would normally use to be able to scan a c drive for used space will work).  I launched it as admin, let it scan the C drive and immediately saw my problem.  The C drive was filled to the brim with cab files built up in the c:\temp folder. In addition, there was a ton of older cbs (component based servicing) files stuck in the Windows>logs>cbs folder:

    Once I cleaned up both locations I had about 350 gigs free.

    As noted in this old forum post,  in the process of trying to zip up and make the cbs files, Windows was failing and placing cab files in the temp folder.

    The moral of this story?  Monitor the free space on your C drive.  Make it one of your monthly eyeball of health tasks on your machine.  Don’t just rely on drive cleanup and use file size tools to inventory where your drive space hogs are.  Especially on Windows 7 where it’s not getting service packs nor feature updates to “refresh” the platform, keep an eye out for unusual occurrences as a result of updating.

    If that helped, take a second to support AskWoody on Patreon

    Home Forums Patch Lady Posts – Windows update temp files

    This topic contains 61 replies, has 21 voices, and was last updated by

     GeoffB 5 months, 3 weeks ago.

    • Author
      Posts
    • #171117 Reply

      Susan Bradley
      AskWoody MVP

      I’m often called to remote into computers for friends, family and especially co-workers to take a look at what ails them. Tonight I had an interesting
      [See the full post at: Patch Lady Posts – Windows update temp files]

      Susan Bradley Patch Lady

      12 users thanked author for this post.
    • #171140 Reply

      MrJimPhelps
      AskWoody_MVP

      Great post, Susan. Very helpful. I’ve done years of desktop support, but I never knew to check the SoftwareDistribution folder. However, I do always check the temp folders.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #171121 Reply

      anonymous

      This just proves that people need to run the MS “Disk Cleanup” and go to system files, and let it clean up the old OS versions, and MS Updates no longer needed.

      Disk Cleanup comes with Windows, and Ccleaner (Periform’s versions, prior to Avast owning them) is a very good program.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #171228 Reply

        ch100
        AskWoody_MVP

        Windows 7 needs to be patched and not only with Security Updates for Disk Cleanup to have any effectiveness in cleaning Windows Update.

        3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #171128 Reply

      anonymous

      Is there any way this can be automated for a network?

      • #171182 Reply

        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        To do this on a network you need to run a batch file / PowerShell that performs a free space test every time a user logs on / the machine starts / every other day on a schedule. You then send the reports / only nearly full reports to a shared location. Having only nearly full reports means less work to manage as you only need to look at a machine when a report comes in.

        cheers, Paul

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #171152 Reply

      anonymous

      Good Ole Woody spoke of this in 2016. Windows 7 log file compression bug can fill up your hard drive

      https://www.computerworld.com/article/3112358/microsoft-windows/windows-7-log-file-compression-bug-can-fill-up-your-hard-drive.html

      6 users thanked author for this post.
      • #171224 Reply

        woody
        Da Boss

        Thx for the nod.

        Month after month, it’s one of my most popular Computerworld blasts.

        Windows 7 log file compression bug can fill up your hard drive

        Microsoft has known about this bug in the Trusted Installer log for years, but done nothing about it

        • This reply was modified 1 year ago by
           woody.
        5 users thanked author for this post.
        • #171230 Reply

          ch100
          AskWoody_MVP

          I don’t want to reopen this discussion, but the limitation is due to a 32-bit process which has limitations in handling certain file sizes.
          Using older technology has its downsides.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #171293 Reply

            MrJimPhelps
            AskWoody_MVP

            Most people shouldn’t be affected by it, because most people are on 64-bit Windows. Unfortunately, because of using an old machine, or because of backward-compatibility requirements, some are stuck with 32-bit. (One of my computers is in that category.)

            Group "L" (Linux Mint)
            with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
            • #171329 Reply

              GoneToPlaid
              AskWoody Plus

              Actually 64-bit Windows is affected as well. I had to clean up the CBS log folder on my Win7 x64 computers since, after the first zipped log file grew to over 2GB in size, the same thing kept recurring. Delete the log files and zip files in the CBS folder, and then reboot. Windows will then recreate new log files which are very small in size.

              1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #171298 Reply

            anonymous

            Does this mean that for those of us on 64-bit Windows machines, that we shouldn’t be worried about this issue? I’m always tempted to “clean up” my machines, but am afraid of unknowingly breaking something by accidentally deleting system files that might be useful…

            • #171364 Reply

              MrJimPhelps
              AskWoody_MVP

              It never hurts to clean the junk off of your hard drive. In fact, as has been stated previously, if your hard drive is at least 75% full, clean as much junk off of your computer as possible. This applies to all versions of Windows — both 32-bit and 64-bit.

              Group "L" (Linux Mint)
              with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
    • #171184 Reply

      DrBonzo
      AskWoody Lounger

      Thanks for posting this. I noticed the same problem on my Win 7 machine about a year ago. Fortunately I still had about 100GB left on a 500 GB hard drive.

      I “fixed” the problem by moving a 2GB CbsPersist file out of windows>logs>cbs into the recycle bin. That resulted in the other 2GB CbsPersist files “vanishing” over the following few weeks, and the used space on the hard drive stabilizing at about 125 GB.

      My C:\temp folder is just fine and has one file, but it’s my windows>temp folder that has more than 20,000 files and aver 254 GB in it! It has literally thousands of cab_4664_4 (that’s just an example of a file name beginning with cab) files that are either 0kB or 131 MB. I’d love to get rid of these cab files, but is it OK to do so? I’d like the extra hard drive space I could get but I don’t want to wreck anything, and frankly, I just don’t trust much of anything about MS products anymore. I’ve had one IT tech pro tell me I should get rid of these files and another tell me to only get rid of them at my own risk.

      I’d welcome any comments from folks.

      • #171209 Reply

        anonymous

        DrBonzo, You are on the right track. You need to “internet search” those files and see what people say. One item you may do is to copy those files to a USB flash drive to keep them and then delete the files off C:\  or  make an image backup first.

        If you go to command prompt and type ECHO %TEMP% it will show you the path of your temp folder.

        Sometimes it is wise to run a disk cleaning utility in safe mode when most services are off.

        EDIT html to text, contents may not appear as intended

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #171232 Reply

        ch100
        AskWoody_MVP

        You can safely delete everything in the Temp folder, but if you wish so, delete only those cab_4664_4 style of naming files. They are a byproduct of TrustedInstaller.exe not being able to compress log files larger than 2 GB into CAB files.
        makecab.exe needs to run to be able to compress the CBS log files into cab files.

        5 users thanked author for this post.
      • #171295 Reply

        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody_MVP

        I’d love to get rid of these cab files, but is it OK to do so?

        “CAB” stands for “Cabinet” — these are the files where Windows components are stored/archived, ready to be reinstalled as needed; to reinstall something, you “open” the appropriate “cabinet” and there it is.

        So in answer to your question: yes, you can delete them; but if you do, you won’t have those Windows cabinets on your hard drive with the various Windows components stored inside of them. If you have the Windows install media, or if you have a good backup, chances are you will never need the cabinet files.

        I don’t know if Windows ever needs those files; my guess is that they are not needed.

        As far as other “temporary” files: If they aren’t from your current Windows session, then you can safely delete them. So if you reboot the computer and log back into Windows, you are now in a new Windows session, and you can safely delete all previous temp files.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #171168 Reply

      anonymous

      Nice post.  One thing.  You say that the CBS files are in the Windows Temp folder. 

      They are not, and even your screenshot shows that they are not. They are in C:\Windows\Logs\CBS

      • #171191 Reply

        Susan Bradley
        AskWoody MVP

        The temp folder was filled with cab files left over from the failed cbs process.  I had to clean out both.  I was lame and only grabbed a screen shot of the cbs folder.

        The C drive was filled to the brim with cab files built up in the c:\temp folder. In addition, there was a ton of older cbs (component based servicing) files stuck in the Windows>logs>cbs folder”

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady

        8 users thanked author for this post.
    • #171190 Reply

      zeuswoz
      AskWoody Lounger

      Nice post. I had to deal with the same issue a few weeks ago. In my many years of providing support for customer Windows 7 estates (10000+ desktop/laptop/VM), I’ve only seen about 3 times.

      Rgds, Zeus

    • #171253 Reply

      abbodi86
      AskWoody_MVP

      Disable CBS.log (for Windows 7 and later)
      require changing security permissions on the key to be able to set the value (or use NSudo)

      [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing]
      "EnableLog"=dword:00000000

      —-

      Control CBS.log behavior (for Windows 8.1 and later)

      NTFS compress
      [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\SideBySide\Configuration]
      "CBSLogCompress"=dword:00000001

      number of persistent (backup) files
      [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\SideBySide\Configuration]
      "NumCBSPersistLogs"=dword:00000003

      max size (64 hex = 100 dec)
      [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\SideBySide\Configuration]
      "CBSLogMaxInMB"=dword:00000064

      6 users thanked author for this post.
      • #171257 Reply

        woody
        Da Boss

        I wonder why MS doesn’t do that by default – or have a routine that deletes very old files every time the log gets updated…

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #171262 Reply

          ch100
          AskWoody_MVP

          In Windows 7 only 5 files are maintained, the older ones are deleted by makecab.exe
          This is the case if everything works as designed.
          The fact that errors are not handled correctly and for example the files which cannot be compressed due to size do not get deleted is the real problem.

          4 users thanked author for this post.
        • #171792 Reply

          Jan K.
          AskWoody Lounger

          I wonder why MS doesn’t do that by default – or have a routine that deletes very old files every time the log gets updated…

          That’s item #1376 on the list of “MS stuff not entirely understood”…

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #171847 Reply

          abbodi86
          AskWoody_MVP

          They did not have the well to at least document or explain them (there are around 27 options of those, most are W8.1 onwards)

          the only description-like for some of them was in WimBootConfig.ini introduced with W8.1 Update

      • #171396 Reply

        liamZ
        AskWoody Lounger

        But be aware that before you run sfc.exe you must enable it again if you want the log to be created.

    • #171264 Reply

      rc primak
      AskWoody_MVP

      Although the bug has been improved, especially since 32-bit processes are being deprecated, Windows 10 Microsoft Updates can also generate a lot of unnecessary detritus which does not clean itself. I run Disk Cleanup every month or two, after making sure I won’t need to roll back any of the previous month’s updates. Sometimes this frees up several gigabytes of space.

      On my desktop Intel NUC, this amount of space is not noticeable, but on my (soon to be retired) 32-bit, WIMBoot ASUS TransformerBook tablet with only 64GB of onboard storage, the difference is important. This device is so lean on storage that I have never enabled System Restore on it.

      Failed or refused Feature Upgrades also may leave a lot of garbage on the drive. Disk Cleanup with all the System Files possibilities checked off can free up a lot of  disk space in such cases, even in Windows 10. CCleaner is simply not enough to do this job. And that’s a good thing, as I run CCleaner several times a month. To do this with Disk Cleanup would make rolling back a bad update nearly impossible.

      One warning — cleaning up Windows Update with Disk Cleanup can result in Windows Update running again during the next restart sequence, which can take several minutes, as WU updates its Update History and logs.

      -- rc primak

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #171271 Reply

      ch100
      AskWoody_MVP

      Windows 10 should clean automatically updates older than 30 days. It takes a long time though.
      I think it is this task: \Microsoft\Windows\Servicing\StartComponentCleanup

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #171280 Reply

        abbodi86
        AskWoody_MVP

        Windows 8.1 has the same task

        while it uninstalls completely superseded updates, it delta-compress the superseded components for non-superseded updates

        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #171275 Reply

      Microfix
      AskWoody MVP

      This is/has been part of my post patch manual monthly maintenance schedule since…the introduction of Windows XP!

      I enjoy keeping our various PC’s O/S lean and mean. (O/S OCD now having benefits)

      | W10 Pro x64 1803 | W8.1 Pro x64 | Linux x64 Hybrids | W7 Pro x64/ XP Pro O/L
        Can't see the wood for the trees? Look again!
      • This reply was modified 1 year ago by
         Microfix.
    • #171249 Reply

      anonymous

      ? says:

      thank you for the article. have been babysitting windows for a long time. remember KB2852386?

      https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/askpfeplat/2013/10/08/breaking-news-reduce-the-size-of-the-winsxs-directory-and-free-up-disk-space-with-a-new-update-for-windows-7-sp1-clients/

      starting in vista the winsxs\temp\pending renames and pending delete folders would grow like weeds.

      i’m sure winx doesn’t suffer these kinds of advanced engineering problems…

      happy february patching in march?

      • #171793 Reply

        anonymous

        Anon #171249 said:
        starting in vista the winsxs\temp\pending renames and pending delete folders would grow like weeds. i’m sure winx doesn’t suffer these kinds of advanced engineering problems…

        Besides Win Vista/7/8.x, Win 10 users are also often plagued by thousands of files at one or both of the said folders:

        C:\Windows\winsxs\Temp\PendingRenames\
        C:\Windows\winsxs\Temp\PendingDeletes\

        I have come across users who reported double-digit GBs of files in the “PendingRenames” folder.

        On a recent Win 7 installation (with no Windows Updates applied), merely carrying out sfc /scannow twice resulted in 3,300 files being permanently left in the “PendingRenames” folder, although sfc /scannow reported zero errors both times.

        Neither running Disk Cleanup (the extended version), nor running the TrustedInstaller service (& letting the PC idle for at least 30 mins) have any effect whatsoever.

        For Win 8.x & Win 10 users, I understand that the following command in Safe Mode can be successful in clearing out the “PendingRenames” folder:

        DISM /online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #171830 Reply

          Cascadian
          AskWoody Lounger

          Anonymous, I too have seen as you describe. And confirm the same tools have no immediate result. But it is also not actually ‘permanent’ either. I do not know the triggering event, but after a passage of time, and uncounted number of power up cycles, the folder will empty. If this happened because of another maintenance task I perform on a loose schedule, I have not yet made the connection.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #171296 Reply

      MrJimPhelps
      AskWoody_MVP

      If you delete a huge number of files, I suggest rebooting into Safe Mode and doing one or two runs of DEFRAG. (DEFRAG runs faster in Safe Mode than in Normal Mode.) And make sure that Windows is set to automatically defrag the hard drive (say, once a week when the computer won’t be in use for a couple of hours).

      The drive is a lot more fragmented after you delete a huge number of files. So it would be better to do a manual run or two of DEFRAG after deleting a huge number of files, then let Windows do it automatically after that.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #171299 Reply

        Microfix
        AskWoody MVP

        Assuming that you use a HDD opposed to an SSD.

        Never defrag an SSD!

        | W10 Pro x64 1803 | W8.1 Pro x64 | Linux x64 Hybrids | W7 Pro x64/ XP Pro O/L
          Can't see the wood for the trees? Look again!
        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #171360 Reply

          anonymous

          There are some reasons to defragment an SSD. Reason not to defrag include (pretty much only) adding some addition writes to the drive.

          But imagine a SSD where the sectors for every file in the partition was randomly located. This would be no big deal for the SSD, but windows would have quite the time trying to use NCQ for efficient read/writes. Obviously this scenario would result in MASSIVE slowness for a conventional hard drive, but only some loss for an SSD.

          You will note that even on an SSD random read/write performance is less than sequential.

          So the question comes down to: “Does the small performance boost from defragging an SSD outweigh the wear that an occasional defrag?”. I’ve found the answer to be “sometimes”.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #171800 Reply

          ch100
          AskWoody_MVP

          Not true, defragging does file system level defragmentation as well.
          But for most users and practical purposes, defragging an SSD can be avoided entirely.
          Actually Apple has always recommended against defragging their own OS, even for HDD.

    • #171304 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      I have Windows 7 Pro x64, and use Webroot Secure Anywhere both as anti malware and for cleaning up the debris that accumulates. In six years, its “optimizer” utility (and that of an earlier version before it) has cleaned up files totaling 250 GB off my 750 GB hard drive. Most of it seems to have been kept in temporary Internet files. The machine appears to be none the worse for this, so probably no harm has been done by deleting all those files.

      After the monthly install of MS patches, running this utility cleans something like 150 – 250 Mb which, month after month, year after year, must amount to something.

      I also defragment the disk every patch Tuesday (or on the actual day I do the patching) and use disk cleanup, but the latter does not do a whole lot of cleaning.

      • This reply was modified 1 year ago by
         OscarCP.
      • #171310 Reply

        PKCano
        Da Boss

        You should NEVER defragment an SSD, only a mechanical HDD. Defragmenting an SSD results in decreased life of the drive because the life depends on a limited number of writes to each sector. TRIM is used to manage the fragmentation of an SSD.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #171368 Reply

          anonymous

          TRIM has zero effect on the fragmentation of an SSD. TRIM moves doesn’t move anything around at all. It just tells the SSD which sectors are not is use so they can (optionally) be internally erased by the SSD for efficient reuse.

          If (occasionally) defragmenting your (modern) SSD (which has TRIM) wears it out chances are just USING it will also wear it out.

          Now if on the other hand you’ve decided to run a write benchmark on your SSD 24/7 you are asking it to wear out.

          I would suggest keeping track of the SMART data about your SSD’s condition and running a SMART long self test on a regular basis. Since SSD’s tend to have their SMART stats actually trend it might be wise to save the old output. (unfortunately properly interpreting SMART stats isn’t exactly super easy for the average user)

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #171410 Reply

          walker
          AskWoody Lounger

          @pkcano:

          Thank you for everything you post here.   Although I have a very difficult time trying to follow 80% of what is written, I’m hoping that eventually some of this wisdom, and knowledge will filter down to me.   There are so many subjects which only “computer literate” users are familiar with.    Everything you present is excellent.   Thank you once again for it all.  🙂

    • #171309 Reply

      WildBill
      AskWoody Plus

      Windows 8.1 doesn’t show a temp folder on my C:\ drive. In the C:\Windows\Temp folder, there are 16 ClientCab** folders, created between 08/16/2014 & 01/16/2015. Each contains i641033.cab. The smallest is 2.82 MB, then one 3.62 MB, then 13 3.67 MB, & the largest is 3.68 MB.

      In the C:\Windows\Logs\CBS folder, I have 5 CbsPersist_**.cab files. All created the same week in February. I still have 383 GB free on a 500 GB (Windows says 444 GB) hard drive; I could do some cleaning up, but I have an idea where to look & what to do if my drive suddenly starts filling up. Thanks to Susan, Woody & everyone else!

      Windows 8.1, 64-bit, now in Group B!
      Wild Bill Rides Again...

    • #171311 Reply

      Paul T
      AskWoody MVP

      You should NEVER defragment an SSD

      Actually you should, but not manually. Windows doesn’t like fragmented File Allocation Tables, so every now and then it tidies them up.
      http://www.hanselman.com/blog/TheRealAndCompleteStoryDoesWindowsDefragmentYourSSD.aspx

      cheers, Paul

      6 users thanked author for this post.
      • #171354 Reply

        anonymous

        PaulT that was an excellent article!  (I knew I was right about SSD fragmentation and needing  defragmenting). Thank you for sharing.

      • #171374 Reply

        anonymous

        I was looking for that in some of my other SSD replies in this thread. Thanks!

        Also there is one thing unclear in that article
        “fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify”

        This tells you if you (using another command) have told windows to NEVER use trim. 0 means “use TRIM if it is available”, 1 means “NEVER use TRIM available or not”.

        For example this PC with a conventional HDD returns “DisableDeleteNotify = 0”, because, while TRIM isn’t supported on my HDD, but
        I have not forbidden windows from using TRIM.

        “fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify”:
        0 = windows may use TRIM on any drive that supports it
        1 = windows is FORBIDDEN from using TRIM on any drive

    • #171314 Reply

      Canadian Tech
      AskWoody_MVP

      I look after about 150 Win7 client computers. My advice is firm. Do not allow your disk to fill up past the 75% mark. When that becomes an issue, either move a lot of really big files off, replace the main drive, or add a 2nd drive. I regularly monitor my clients’ disks checking for this and also do manufacturers testing. I counsel clients with laptops that when they exceed 5 years, the drive should be replaced. Desktops seldom need replacement and last much longer.

      CT

      4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #171320 Reply

        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody_MVP

        I counsel clients with laptops that when they exceed 5 years, the drive should be replaced.

        Is this so that they won’t ever have a hard drive failure?

        Desktops seldom need replacement and last much longer.

        So what you are doing is, replacing the one part that is likely to fail, thereby getting a lot more life out of their computer.

        An additional benefit of replacing the hard drive is that the old drive becomes a full backup of the computer. Put it in a static bag, put a label on the bag telling the date you removed it and which computer you removed it from, and store it in a safe place. It could come in handy — it did for me once.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #171321 Reply

          Canadian Tech
          AskWoody_MVP

          Correct Jim. I don’t expect laptop drives to last much longer than 5 years. I am doing maintenance in expectation of a failure. It also allows my client to plan the task. Big addon benefit is that the performance of an newly installed OS, causes a huge performance improvement. If the drive is a 5400rpm one, it really makes a big difference if your replace with a 7200rpm one.

          I do not use SSD drives because they are difficult for the average person to manage and although they show a dramatic improvement in startup, very little difference in normal running. They are also much more expensive. The drive I usually use is a WD500 Black. Cost is $70 Cdn including tax.

          CT

          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #171326 Reply

            MrJimPhelps
            AskWoody_MVP

            I find that you get more improvement by increasing your memory, if you are short in that category. I added an SSD to my wife’s Dell laptop (it’s about 2-1/2 years old), and I saw some improvement in performance, but not much. (Startups weren’t that slow with the mechanical drive.) But when I upped her memory from 4GB to 8GB, I saw a noticeable improvement in performance.

            You are right about improvements in hard drive performance.

            When you say “newly installed OS”, I take it you do a clean install of Windows whenever you replace their hard drive, rather than a backup and restore from the old drive to the new drive. A clean install of Windows, plus a newer, faster hard drive, with their memory at the maximum for the machine, is like a whole new machine.

            Group "L" (Linux Mint)
            with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
            • #171330 Reply

              Canadian Tech
              AskWoody_MVP

              Yes, Jim. A clean install of Win7 will always result in a dramatic performance improvement. In fact, I am going to be doing a HD replacement and clean Win7 install on a client laptop this very afternoon

              I always use the Windows Easy Transfer program. Works 99% of the time and very well. You should not use WET for systems which are hopelessly corrupted because it transfers the settings which may well have been the problem.

              I always provide my clients with a set of DVDs that have an image of the drive BEFORE data or apps are installed, but after all updates and drivers are installed. It saves a lot of time when replacing a drive, such as will be the case this afternoon.

              CT

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #171376 Reply

              MrJimPhelps
              AskWoody_MVP

              Excellent plan. Costs a lot less for your customers to do it this way than to recover from a hard drive crash. And everything is refreshed and renewed every five years.

              Thanks for the info about Windows Easy Transfer. Question about WET: Do you first restore to the new drive from the set of DVDs that you made, and then use WET to transfer all files and settings from the old hard drive to the new Windows install?

              Group "L" (Linux Mint)
              with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
              1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #171327 Reply

          WildBill
          AskWoody Plus

          An additional benefit of replacing the hard drive is that the old drive becomes a full backup of the computer. Put it in a static bag, put a label on the bag telling the date you removed it and which computer you removed it from, and store it in a safe place. It could come in handy — it did for me once.

          Good advice, MrJim, but Windows would have to be installed from scratch on the new hard drive, correct? Still, if one needs to return to the old drive & update the OS, Windows Update would put everything current, unless you’re in Extended Support. BTW, I would feel more confident about returning to an old drive with Win 7 or Win 8.1. I’m sure it could be done with Windows 10, but depending on when you return, who knows what shape the OS would be in?!

          Windows 8.1, 64-bit, now in Group B!
          Wild Bill Rides Again...

          • #171381 Reply

            MrJimPhelps
            AskWoody_MVP

            Actually, if you need to do a full recovery, you could just reinstall the old drive (assuming it is still in good working order), do a backup of it, install a new drive, then restore the backup to the new drive.

            That is one benefit of storing the old drive. The other benefit is that if the person needs to recover a lost file, you just might find the needed file on that old drive.

            There is no need to wipe the old drive or dispose of it. Save the drive, and it may end up saving you one day if any sort of recovery is ever needed.

            Group "L" (Linux Mint)
            with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
            2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #171357 Reply

        anonymous

        CanadianTech, thank you for your comments on hard drives. We have seen the same. Laptops may have a lower life because of movement and bumping the case. But that is a laptop and being a mobile computer. Desktops have life expectancy of years, even well over a decade! Yes eventually things wear out, but we had drives last from the late 1990’s to beyond 2010 if treated right and yes they were run every day.

         

    • #171370 Reply

      Canadian Tech
      AskWoody_MVP

      anonymous, if you hold a 3.5″ hard drive for a desktop in one hand and a 2.5″ hard drive for a laptop in the other hand, it will be obvious why they have a shorter life. One is at least 20 times the mass of the other.

      CT

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #171378 Reply

        anonymous

        On the other hand laptop drives tend to be designed to handle more wear/movement than a desktop drive. I find that important to keep in mind if your external drive is based on a desktop drive and not a laptop (don’t move it around when it is spun up/plugged in and don’t allow it to be positioned to fall off or over)

      • #171380 Reply

        anonymous

        CanadianTech, Thank you. Yes, the laptop drive is much lighter for weight reasons and less massive. This will affect heat soak and adsorption and the overall heat of the drive.

        But also, the fact that laptops are portable and people occasionally bump them on the desk and move them while running can shorten the life.

        My point was to agree and complement you and show others that feel “hard drives only last a year or two” is not correct, unless you are mistreating that device and its drive.

        Thanks again.

         

    • #171387 Reply

      Canadian Tech
      AskWoody_MVP

      Jim, exactly. I am about to do it now. Remove the old drive, install the new one. Insert the System repair disk to boot, choose the restore, use the DVDs to do the restore. Then do whatever Windows updates I feel are tolerable. Then install MS Office, update it, defrag, then build a new set of DVDs for a new image set. Install other apps. Then WET.

      Another nice thing about doing it this way is that backup is not critical because you still have a working old drive should that be necessary. Same with things like device drivers.

      CT

      • #171480 Reply

        anonymous

        CanadianTech, sounds good. Basically you are doing what the FAA calls “Preventative Replacement”. This was done on DC10’s engine bolts. I did the same with my vehicles on aged parts that could leave one stranded on the highway.

         

    • #171786 Reply

      anonymous

      From Susan Bradley’s post:
      This gained about a gig of space, enough to then give me room to install TreeSizeFree (any other tool that you would normally use to be able to scan a c drive for used space will work).

      Instead of using the installer build of a disk space analyzer tool (& thus having to free up some space on C: drive first), an alternative is to use the portable build. An obvious benefit (especially for the situation being highlighted) is that portable software doesn’t require installation, & can be run directly from a USB thumbdrive or a local non-system drive (eg. D:).

      If you like TreeSize Free, here’s an authorized PortableApps build that doesn’t write outside of its working folder.

      The developer does offer a no-install “portable” build, but it writes to the system drive (\%AppData%\JAM Software\TreeSize Free\), as well as the registry (HKCU\Software\Classes\Folder\shell\treesize), if the context menu integration option is touched.

      Personally, I much prefer the portable WizTree freeware (over TreeSize Free) because of its superior disk-scanning speed on NTFS drives (local disk or external USB disks). In addition, unlike TreeSize Free, WizTree supports the scanning of network drives, albeit at slower speed than for local NTFS drives. The disk scan results are shown in the form of file/folder list & colourful visual map, & data for selected files/folders can be exported as a CSV report.

      The portable build of WizTree can be downloaded from the “Portable Zip” link at the official site. And some info from 3rd-party users.

    • #171799 Reply

      Jan K.
      AskWoody Lounger

      That… folder… #&%#¤!

      Flashbacks to happy days struggling with a funny little GWX icon that kept popping up in the process menu… boot down and up took longer and longer… everything slowed down… gigabytes downloaded… tons of cbs log files… learning new methods of anger management… sigh.

      Lost a couple of days of work trying to figure out the problems and how to solve them, but one good thing came out of this… experience… I found Woody! 😀

      Thank You, Microsoft.

    • #219999 Reply

      GeoffB
      AskWoody Lounger

      I am Group A, Win 7 x64 non-tech user.

      I’ve been cleaning up my computer to get disk space in anticipation of the DEFCON rating for the September updates being relaxed to 3 or better and downloading/installing the September update.  I thought (mistakenly apparently) that Disk Cleanup would remove the all temp files in C: drive, but I have an awful lot of temp files still sitting in C: Windows/Temp.  Should Disk Cleanup have deleted these files?

      Can I delete these files without causing any problems?  I would probably leave the last 2 months worth there for the moment.

      Appreciate any advice on this.

      GeoffB

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

    Reply To: Patch Lady Posts – Windows update temp files

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use Advanced BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.

    Your information: